For the past two weekends, students in History 621, “Historic Preservation Fieldwork,” have traveled to Sadieville, Kentucky. Sadieville is a small town in northern Scott County. It developed as a railroad stop after the Civil War. By the early twentieth century it had more than 600 residents. Today, Sadieville is a quiet spot off the beaten track. Left behind by a globalizing economy, it is has only a few stores, a bank, and a handful of residents. Fortunately, some of its citizens care deeply about its future. They hope to use the town’s rich history and historic charm to bring it new vitality and attract heritage tourism.
History 621 students have taken on the task of nominating the heart of the community to the National Register of Historic Places. As an initial step, they’ve collected information about extant buildings and sites. Sadieville was last surveyed in the late 1980s by Ann Bevins, an extraordinary local historian. Plenty of changes have taken place in the years since. Perhaps as many as a third of the buildings that Bevins surveyed have been demolished. Other have been modernized in ways that make it difficult to understand their original character. Replacement windows and vinyl siding are common, and new additions are almost as ubiquitous. Changes of this sort reflect the need to keep buildings weathertight and comfortable. But they also make it difficult to understand their histories. Most are, however, reversible.
Sadieville is more than just a postbellum railroad town. It also has ties to one of the most dramatic episodes to take place during the thoroughly dramatic era of Reconstruction. In the late 1880s, about 150 families from Scott County packed up and headed to Kansas. Tired of the violence that plagued the post-emancipation South, they sought better lives for themselves in a territory with comparatively little race prejudice. Families from Sadieville helped found Nicodemus, the best-known of several towns established by African Americans in Kansas. Today, Nicodemus is a national historic site (http://www.nps.gov/nico/index.htm).
In the coming weeks, the students will compile the data they’ve collected, wrap up their archival research, and begin preparing the nomination. They’ll also draft a report to the city of Sadieville. Guidance on how property owners can take advantage of financial incentives for historic preservation and how the town can promote itself will help Sadieville fulfill its potential.
Check back soon for updates on this project. In the meantime, the photos posted below show some of the students hard at work.
The Courier-Journal has been running a wonderful series of articles in honor of Black history month. You can check them out here.
As anticipation for the planned opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture builds, news about the sad fate of the national slavery museum proposed by former Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder continues to trickle out. Today’s Washington Post has one of the best stories on it that has appeared to date. Be sure to take a look. And, when you’re done reading, wander over to the website for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. It is already bringing long-overdue recognition to African Americans and their role in the history of the nation.
The 6th Annual Historic Preservation Symposium
New Voices, Current Needs
March 1 – 2, 2012
Lexington History Museum – the former Fayette County Courthouse
215 W. Main St., Lexington
This year’s symposium “New Voices, Current Needs” will explore the idea of historic preservation as a form of social justice. Four prominent members of the national historic preservation community will address this idea by sharing observations from their own work and experiences. The speakers have each practiced in different areas of the historic preservation field, and their breadth of knowledge will help provide a range of perspectives on how preservation can be used to address the needs of underserved communities and to help correct modern or historical injustices.
The speakers, in order of scheduled appearance, are:
10:00 AM / Ned Kaufman
Founder of Place Matters and of Pratt Institute’s graduate program in Historic Preservation. His most recent book, Place, Race and Story provides critical reflection on future directions for the historic preservation movement, focusing on the future role of meaning in historic preservation efforts.
2:00 PM / Alicestyne Turley
Assistant Professor in the Pan African Studies Department at the University of Louisville, and is the Director of the Underground Railroad Research Institute. Dr. Turley is also a member of the City of Louisville Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission.
10:00 AM / Thomas F. King
Thomas F. King is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on archaeological policy and cultural resource management law. He has authored many books, including Cultural Resource Laws and Practice, and Places that Count: Traditional Cultural Properties in Cultural Resource Management.
2:00 PM / Stanley Lowe
Stanley Lowe is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Pittsburgh Neighborhood Preservation Services. He is also the former Executive Director of the City of Pittsburgh Housing Authority, the former Vice President of the Neighborhood Revitalization Department of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and he has worked for years to channel energy, attention and resources toward economic development in low income urban neighborhoods.
Lectures associated with this symposium are free and open to the public.
Each lecture will be followed by a local response panel and audience Q&A.
Lectures will be registered with AIA for Health Safety and Welfare (HSW) Continuing Education Credit.
The University of Kentucky Historic Preservation Program offers a graduate program based on field study, research, design and community activities. Drawing on an abundance of local historical sites, the program documents and interprets historic buildings and landscapes and advocates their restoration, preservation, reconstruction, and rehabilitation. The student symposium offers a platform for students and other members of the historic preservation community to learn from local, national, and international experts as they share their thoughts and experiences on issues relevant to the field today.
The Annual Historic Preservation Symposium is the premier public discussion venue for historic preservation issues in the region. To help make the event a resounding success we need support from people like you. To make an online donation please visit the event webpage.
Metro Louisville Parks is interested in having U of L students conduct historical research and prepare historical material for public audiences. Positions are unpaid, but may qualify for academic credit. For more information, please check out the post below. If you’re interested, contact Mr. Brooks directly as described at the bottom of the page.
— Professor Vivian
METRO PARKS HISTORICAL RESEARCHER
Location: Metro Parks Administrative Building (Joe Creason Park- across from the Zoo)
- Someone that is committed to working at least 9 weeks with limited schedule conflicts.
- Ability to work 10-20 hours a week with some time flexibility.
- Primary work hours will be sometime Monday – Friday 8am- 5pm.
Goal: Provide a great resume building experience for an individual that will provide lasting information about our Metro Parks to be published on our webpage
Sample of Tasks/ Activities:
- Creating a historic profile of all our parks and community centers
- Researching historical information from various sources of media
- Ability to correctly identify creditable historic sources that can be documented
- Ability to work from home on certain assignments
- Formatting website content
- Data collection and other duties as assigned
- Someone perusing a degree in a history field, or has a love for history
- Good written communications skills
- A love for our local park system is a big plus!
- Ability to do various tasks with Microsoft Office
- Ability to provide a writing sample
For more information, please contact:
Louisville Metro Parks
Follow us: facebook.com/Louisville.Metro.Parks